Your vape shop can earn more money in two ways. You can attract new customers, or you can earn more money from the customers you already have by getting them to come in more often or increasing their average order value. As a vape shop owner, you already know that earning a new customer is hard. You’re not just competing against other vape shops in your region; you’re also competing against convenience stores and online sellers who can afford to sell vaping products at much narrower profit margins. Advertising and evangelizing your product are always wise, but that’s not the quickest path to increased profitability.
The fastest way to improve your bottom line is to sell more to your existing customer base – and that’s what I’m going to discuss today.
Reading this article, you’re going to learn 4 straightforward, actionable methods for putting more money in your till at the end of each day by increasing the average customer value at your vape shop.
Hire the Right Staff
Just about any good cashier can be an acceptable vape shop employee, but there’s a big difference between a cashier and someone who actually vapes and understands what customers want. Hiring a cashier who understands the industry may cost a bit more, but an employee with vaping experience can increase your average customer value simply by watching what customers buy and striking up conversations. Consider these potential scenarios:
- Hi, John! You’ve been buying a lot of peach e-liquids latterly, so I wanted to show you this new flavor that just came in.
- The device you’re looking at is a nice one. Did you know that it doesn’t come with batteries? Let me show you some of the higher-amperage batteries we carry that would work well with that mod.
- That tank has huge cloud production, but it burns through coils quickly. Can I offer you a 10 percent discount on your first box of coils?
Did you notice that last one? Giving your staff the power to offer small discounts to customers who buy product bundles can instantly increase your average sale value. Virtually every person who vapes needs batteries, coils and e-liquid. If you can figure out which of those things a customer needs based on the product he or she is buying – and offer it at a slight discount – it’s an easy way to earn a quick upsell. If you can afford to do so, it also doesn’t hurt to offer modest sales commissions to your staff. Compensating an associate for performance is a great way to increase motivation.
Offer Value-Added Services
Your service to the local vaping community doesn’t have to begin and end with the sale of products. You can benefit your customers greatly – and more importantly, you can get them to walk through your door more often – by offering continued support after the sale. Anything that gets people to come in can potentially result in a sale, and you can accomplish that in several ways. Here are a few ideas.
- Offer free classes in which you teach people how to build atomizer coils and show them how to handle batteries safely.
- Offer free battery wraps for people with damaged batteries.
- Accept dead batteries, empty e-liquid bottles and unwanted devices for recycling.
- Add a lounge area to your shop. Purchase a few couches, offer sodas or coffee drinks and set up a few arcade games or pinball tables.
Differentiate Your Vape Shop
A small community may only have enough vapers to support one vape shop. If you do business in a medium or large city, though, it’s likely that you have plenty of competition. You can stimulate return business and increase your average customer value by differentiating your vape shop. Having a convenient location, a pleasing shop layout and competitive prices all help to set your shop apart. What you really want, though, is to ensure that your shop is always the first one that comes to mind when someone in your city wants to buy vaping gear – and to do that, you’re going to have to be creative. What can you do that no other vape shop in your area has done? Here are two ideas.
“Customers Like You Also Bought…”
If you shop on websites like Amazon, you have plenty of experience with online shopping environments in which you see product recommendations based on things you purchased previously. If you have a good POS system, the data that you’ve collected can allow you to do the same thing. Suppose, for example, that your customers enter their phone numbers using a touch-screen interface to collect loyalty points during the checkout process. It would only take a bit of custom programming to add a second screen that analyzes the products the customer is about to buy and recommends products based on the past purchases of other customers with similar buying habits. Automatic product recommendations can add fun to your shop’s checkout process while helping customers discover new products. No one else in your neighborhood is doing this – yet.
Offer a Tasting Event
Partnering with another local company is a great way to increase awareness among that business’s customer base. For a vape shop, you can find natural synergy by partnering with a local restaurant, microbrewery or winery. Offer a tasting event in which you demonstrate how nicely a carefully curated selection of e-liquids can pair with foods, beers or wines.
Start a Reward Program
Does your vape shop have a reward program yet? If you use punch cards to keep customers coming back, that’s great – but you’re not getting all of the benefits that a fully digital reward program could bring to your vape shop. If you have a good POS system, you can start a reward program that’s completely automatic – customers can simply tap their phone numbers on a touch screen to earn points for their purchases – and generates priceless data that can help you improve your product offerings. If you had a database linking your customers to their purchases, what would you do with that information? As suggested above, you could use the information to present intelligent product recommendations – but that isn’t all. You can also use customers’ purchase histories to manage your inventory more efficiently by ensuring that you always have the products your customers want when they want them. Knowing what your customers want means that you’ll waste less money on unsold inventory – and spending less is money is just as good as earning more.
I’d like to thank Vape Mentors for graciously offering me this guest posting opportunity. If your vape shop has a website, take a moment to stop by eCig One and learn about our vaping SEO service. We have helped dozens of vape shops around the world grow their web traffic, and we’d like to do the same for you.
Jason Artman is the owner and author of eCig One. A professional freelance writer and SEO consultant with more than a decade of experience, Jason works with vaping companies around the world to increase their targeted web traffic and improve their revenue.